Today's discussion:

The Israel-Hamas war is uniting conservatives even as it fractures the Left

Much like how the threat of communism kept the Right broadly united in the 1980s, today's high-stakes geopolitical turmoil—and all its moral consequences—has brought the conservative coalition together, even as it has driven progressives apart.

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Conservatives may be united but they will likely end up on the wrong side of this issue. How anybody can blindingly support Israel’s ‘defence’ by bombing civilians and hospitals is beyond comprehension. I use italics for defence but this ‘war’ is an offensive move, not defence. Ukrainian’s war is defensive as they are in their own land defending attacks. Israel goes into Gaza and bombs indiscriminately, killing civilians. The Hamas leaders aren’t in Gaza. Secondly, Hamas isn’t going to go away by this action. There are many militants who can step up to take over when commanders are killed. This action by Israel is horrendous. It’s ironic for a country that had millions killed in the Holocaust that they would have such little regard for Palestinian lives. I’ve lost a lot of respect for the country and its supporters

8th November 2023 at 8:53 am
Rob Tyrrell

Some glaringly omissions, hopefully not bad faith, in this take:
– The Oct 7 attack that explicitly and gleefully targeted civilians
– 200+ hostages
– Hamas’s primary objective is Israel’s destruction
– Hamas’s willful use of fellow civilians as shields
Your opinion and conclusions may not be swayed by these points, but they should not be ignored.

8th November 2023 at 9:40 am
Brad Fisher

Glaring is an understatement.

8th November 2023 at 7:07 pm
Michael F

Some glaring omissions:
– Netanyahu aided and abetted Hamas to cynically use it as a wedge against Fatah and further stall any meaningful negotiations while they continued West Bank settlement activity
– The continuing use of the rhetoric that Hamas has only one goal and that is the destruction of Israel. This whole construct that Hamas is ideologically driven is built on a shaky foundation
– The conditions Palestinians have been forced to live under in Gaza City since 2005

8th November 2023 at 12:03 pm
Brad Fisher

Maybe their lovely Arab neighbour can step up to the plate…

8th November 2023 at 7:08 pm
The Hub Staff

Thank you both Rob and Michael, these comments are valuable in building a dialogue around the war.

8th November 2023 at 4:35 pm
Rob Tyrrell

Thanks for the replies! Whether I ultimately agree, fully, in part, or not at all, this is the kind of calm, specific, challenging, and good faith dialogue I look for, and learn from, here.

8th November 2023 at 1:51 pm
Michael F

Rob as to your point. This quote is from the Wilson Centre.

“In 2017, a revised Hamas manifesto included three departures from the 1988 charter, former U.S. diplomat Aaron David Miller told The Islamists. First, Hamas accepted the establishment of a Palestinian state separate from Israel —although only provisionally. Its statement on principles and policies said, “Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. However, without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without relinquishing any Palestinian rights, Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of the 4th of June 1967, with the return of the refugees and the displaced to their homes from which they were expelled, to be a formula of national consensus.” Second, it attempted to distinguish between Jews or Judaism and modern Zionism. Hamas said that its fight was against the “racist, aggressive, colonial and expansionist” Zionist project, Israel, but not against Judaism or Jews. The updated platform also lacked some of the anti-Semitic language of the 1988 charter. Third, the document did not reference the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, from which Hamas was originally an offshoot.”

This is intentionally left out in the argument that Hamas is solely committed to the destruction of Israel.

8th November 2023 at 1:22 pm
Rob Tyrrell

Your points, well taken, are operating at a different “zoom level” IMO.
The “zoom level” of the previous comments was related to the Oct 7 attack on civilians. Regardless of context, the Oct 7 attack warrants a response that punishes and neutralizes the immediate threat, while returning as many hostages as possible (effectiveness and morality of the current approach is debatable).

Zooming out, yes, Netanyahu cynically aided and abetted Hamas and it backfired horribly.
If you take Hamas’s words, actions, and stated goals, Israel’s destruction seems core to me. It is primarily a Jihadist project, no?
The conditions in Gaza since 2005 are unacceptable but the tragic reasons for this can be spread widely (including Israel’s and other of the region’s governments), but primarily to their own elected, but now authoritarian, leaders.

8th November 2023 at 1:04 pm
Richard Courtemanche

Games Palestinian children play. Isn’t that cute?

8th November 2023 at 11:15 am
A. Chezzi

Israel will never be the same after this horrific event in its history. Since World War II, there has been support of the Israeli and the nation of Israel. There have been those who were and some who are still antisemites but generally, there has been support for Israel and its people and their aspirations. After the carnage which we see daily, I can understand why Israel is losing support and why more voices are being raised for Palestinians, not Hamas. Therein lies the problem. Commentators who are pro Israeli conflate Palestinians with Hamas. Palestinians have their dreams as do Israelis, yet for years they have been deprived, living only as the Israelis would allow them to live with hard restrictions on all aspects of live. History teaches that a people will not be held down forever. At one point they will say enough and rise up. Israel has changed forever because this insane revenge has planted seeds deeply within the spirit of Palestinians which may erupt in more violence in other places. In the West Bank there is fear that Hamas is gaining support. Israel has changed its the course of its history.
Conservatism is about preserving the best of a tradition. Are war and carnage what conservatives consider the best? If so, they have little to offer the world. The world is in transition. We are moving away from a culture which values dominance and power to one which is working towards inclusion and co-operation. No transition comes easily and hence all the conflict we are experiencing as the powerful and privileged fight to hang onto their influence and position. Change will happen no matter how hard or how long the fight ensues and it may look like the change is being stopped as conservative governments are elected around the world but change cannot be stopped. The next generation sees things differently and wants to act and live differently. Hopefully, the future of the Israeli and Palestinians is in better hands than it is today.

8th November 2023 at 8:36 am
The Hub Staff

You make some great points. As you mentioned with the world being in transition, Canada’s reaction to the ongoing wars and the country’s stake in foreign affairs should reflect changing circumstances.

8th November 2023 at 9:49 am
Richard Courtemanche

Hamas’ action on Oct 7 was horrendous, so are protesters supporting them today. Israel has always been on the defence to no avail. War is Hell, but enough is enough. What is it that people can’t comprehend? Blame Hamas and Palestine warmonger authorities for making monsters of their new generations and making themselves rich at the expense of their people. So, if anyone doesn’t have a rational solution for keeping Israel in peace, don’t say anything.

Now, local politicians have created problems domestically by allowing extremists with open borders. How incompetent and insane!

8th November 2023 at 9:39 am
Thor Ragnorson

I do enjoy reading Ms Roth’s columns. Well said Ginny.

8th November 2023 at 10:36 am
Rob Tyrrell

Hopefully it is not simply because you agree with them. Can you offer any criticism or comment on the ideas or presentation?

8th November 2023 at 1:09 pm
Jim chapman

What the heck are “forbearers”? There is no such word of which I am aware, “forbears” being the proper noun. I understand that being picky about grammar is often frowned upon these days, but using words properly in an age of widespread yet fractured communication is vital to maximizing understanding of the ideas being communicated. I expect better from this site.

8th November 2023 at 8:44 am

And your only answer is to correct grammar. So shallow

8th November 2023 at 10:26 am
Rob Tyrrell

And away we go!

“But it may surprise some—especially those who oversimplify and caricature the Canadian Right…”

And yet the author offers their own, surprising, or not, oversimplification and caricature a few sentences later for the “Canadian Left”.

“…big-spending, high-regulation economic policy or virtue-signaling, equity-protecting social programs of the Liberals or the NDP…”

Read the first two intro paragraphs and then immediately the last conclusion paragraph. In between seems a meandering mish mash.

What is this article saying exactly?
– Conservatives (The Right) and Progressives (The Left) have always had fractures on broad issues.
– Unlike during The Cold War, Conservatives have been split recently between younger our-country-first folks and older protect-global-freedom folks (see differing Ukraine support in the US).
– Conservatives are much more aligned than Progressives on the support of Israel to respond with “careful brutality” to rescue hostages and eliminate an existential threat.
– Thus, the conclusion that this “new” alignment will translate into more gettable middle voters in the next Federal election in Canada (author’s fingers clearly crossed!)

Anything missing? Fair?

8th November 2023 at 8:14 am

Isn’t >big-spending, high-regulation economic policy or virtue-signaling, equity-protecting social programs of the Liberals or the NDP” the legacy being left behind by these abysmal parties. It is an accurate description, not a caricature.

8th November 2023 at 9:54 am
Rob Tyrrell

If not a caricature, it is certainly disingenuous. Regardless, how about this for an accurate description?

“…imprudent deficit and debt raising, maintainers of some ineffective regulations, too many righteous communications without presumably commensurate action, and expanders of inefficient social programs that do still reduce poverty levels of the current Liberal government.”

Alas, caricatures are easy and appealing to supporters. They are not the basis for a good faith argument or discussion. 🙂

8th November 2023 at 11:34 am
Paul Haliburton

Exactly, what is this author trying to say!

8th November 2023 at 9:08 am
Michael F

More partisan hyperbole and pro-Israel PR. The well funded, well organized and highly pervasive Israeli PR machine is in overdrive as the bodies pile up in Gaza and the world turns a critical eye to the actions of the IDF. In the US, AIPAC and the other numerous pro-Israel lobby groups are in panic mode as young college students there are becoming more critical of the actions of Netanyahu. The winning of the American mind is a huge political and economic issue for the Israel lobby.

Watch this documentary. It makes some great points and shows very well how the narrative is twisted and manipulated here in North America.

And btw not a peep today about all the wins for the Democrats in the US in the mid terms. Maybe the broad coaltion of the left isn’t so fractured after all.

8th November 2023 at 12:20 pm
Bob Peacock

The Conservatives take sides with the wind. All they care about is how many others who think like them will vote. They don’t give a darn about people period. So you can imagine the kitchen table conversations at Conservative households. Heil whoever!!!!!.
There are no winners in War. The Israel/Palestinian war has been going on since the division of Abraham’s family. Palestinians are no less important than Israelis. They must learn to live together or both will become extint.

8th November 2023 at 11:51 am